Community Sustainability 

ideaCity 2010: Day 2


See daily recap here: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

50 Presenters, 3 Legendary Parties, a Ton of Inspiration. Ideas Change The World. @ideacitynews

We are still amazed at how real and down to earth all the presenters here are. Having a smaller sized event in a comfortable venue allows for intimate interaction and deep conversations among presenters and attendees. The Royal Conservatory of Music Koemer Hall is a fabulous venue with high ceilings and full-sized glass windows. Moses couldn’t have picked a better spot to hold this year’s ideaCity 2010. What suprised us most is the amount of face time (not the Apple coined term) we got with all the notable presenters.

The noon sessions ended with a few songs and a short inspiritational speech from Neshema Carlebach. Her smooth melodies and gentle, yet strong spirit shine through her soft-spoken presentation and her uplifting performance. She spoke extensively of her father, the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (“Singing Rabbi”), and how he had a profound impact on her life. It was a story about one of her father’s shows at a prison where an inmate with 7 life sentences was in attendance. The show was held in a small room with guards and inmates alike. Shlomo started playing… and the longer he played, the more people cried. Eventually you couldn’t even tell the difference between the guards and the prisoners. At the end of the show, Shlomo stood at the door and gave everyone a hug before they left. When the prisoner with the life sentences came up to him, Shlomo threw his arms around him and embraced him fully. As the prisoner stepped away, he asked for another hug and said, “No one has ever embraced me like that before. If only I had more hugs like that, perhaps I wouldn’t be in the same situation I am in now.” My father cried. She moved onto giving an inspirational speech, urging the audience to “reignite that candle in your own life.”


“We’re all here for a purpose, to save each other in some way. If you see someone hurt or crying, you could be the only one seeing it. It’s your gift to be able to see them, and your duty to help in your own way.”

From personal reflection on kindness to others, to reflections on sustaining our environment, the diverse topics and presenters here at ideaCity truly make it a conference of its own. After the lunch break, we had Dr. Margaret Race and Edna DeVore who work with NASA and the SETI Institute, along with Jane Poynte, a Biosphere 2 crew member, sharing with us whole new perspectives on space exploration. One particular line specifically stuck with me: “the further we look into space and at other planets, the more we reflect on our own planet.” Is Earth unique and precious? After all, we still haven’t discovered life on any other planet… but as we begin to explore potential developments in a new planet, we look into policies and sustainability issues that are also relevant right here on Earth.

Amongst the amazing performers was spoken speech poet, Vanessa Hidary. Her performance, “My PhD in Him”, concerning “the man who wants to be treated like a man but won’t act like one” brought the audience to laughs and applause. The art of spoken word was something that has been around, but for Hidary, she has taken her background and experiences to make it her own. A new experience of poetry for me which was definitely eye (or ear) -opening!


Of specific interest to us, was Faith Popcorn, a futurist and trendspotter, who contributed the main image for this post. She spoke to us about the current trends and new media outlets while emphasizing the consumer’s ongoing and increasing influence on the decisions made by retailers. “Consumers are telling the makers how to make things.” There is so much information, opinions and takes on brands and companies that are available through the Internet that are not necessarily the voices within each company. Subsequently, there is Google which is an easily accessible portal for these opinions to become visible to large audiences, sometimes without the brands being fully aware. Once this information is consumed by the public, that becomes what your company is about.

To take that further, I feel there is now, more and more an appreciation for peer perspectives rather than corporate messaging. This is a new and sometimes surprising evolution that many retailers have yet to understand. She also proceeded to mention the growing needs for brands and companies to immerse themselves in culture in order to have an influence and impact. She described brands as ‘brand-aids’ too, how they should use their brand power to help society. She asked the audience, “Who is your company’s Chief Cultural Officer? or Chief Consciousness Officer?” – think about it.


As mentioned, ideaCity gives attendees and media alike, ample opportunity to mix and mingle. So now I leave you with a picture of @Vidafine with just a few of our amazing new friends. I have to admit, we were a little ‘star-struck’. From left: Joyce Svitak (Adora’s mother), Natalie Tran (Video blogger and YouTube Sensation), Eugene, Ev, Adora Svitak (Author, Youth Advocate and Teacher), Mitchell Stewart (Guest to Natalie) + myself, holding the camera.


Hope our readers are enjoying the coverage so far, and we cannot wait for Day 3!

ideaCity 2010: Day 3
ideaCity 2010: Day 1
TEDxToronto 2010 A Call to Action
G20 Youth Summit 2010
G-8 Youth Summit